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BIG LOTTERY FUND'S FUNDING PLANS MOVE FORWARD

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Flexible, demand-led and customer friendly grant programmes will be...
Flexible, demand-led and customer friendly grant programmes will be

at the heart of the new Big Lottery Fund's priorities following the

results of phase one of a major UK-wide public consultation published

today.

After receiving more than 2,900 responses, the BLF's

board has taken a series of important decisions, which will act as

the basis for distributing millions of pounds of national lottery

good-cause funds available to the fund for new programmes between now

and 2009.

The fund announced it will adopt a mixed portfolio approach to

funding, with no less than one third of its income distributed via

demand-led, lightly-prescribed, accessible programmes, including an

expanded Awards for All scheme.

In response to the consultation, the fund also announced it will:

* Introduce more flexibility in the length of funding.

* Adopt the principle of full cost recovery by allowing all

legitimate overhead costs to be recovered by voluntary and community

organisations.

* Strengthen its regional offices to increase the emphasis on policy

development, outreach, partnerships and external relations.

* Establish two operational centres in Newcastle and Birmingham to

make it easier to access funding and to ensure a strong, unified

funding policy.

The fund restated its undertaking to the voluntary and community

organisations that 60-70% of all funding will flow to their sector.

It also re-confirmed that it will continue to fund research and

international projects.

Clive Booth, the BLF's chair, said: 'We're making

good progress in developing our future funding programmes. Our

consultations over the last six months have been an overwhelming

success, with thousands of people letting us know what they want from

our funding. Certain messages are coming across loud and clear:

people want to be able to use our Lottery funding to give life to

their priorities and their ideas to make a real impact in their

communities.

'They want our funding to be flexible and easy to access; they want

disadvantage to be at the heart of what we do; they want us to work

with other agencies to ensure our funding complements, adds value and

is additional to government funding; they want to be able to develop

projects which run across our priority outcomes; they want us to

develop and encourage partnership working; and they value a regional

presence.'

Sir Clive added: 'The decisions my board has now taken are the

beginning of a process which will ensure we meet all these

aspirations. Over the next few months, my board will begin to work up

our portfolio of new programmes. In March and May, we will consider

in more detail how our funding programmes will be designed, taking

full account of the outcomes of the phase two consultation, which

will be published in May. And we will begin to launch our new

programmes from this summer.'

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the fund, added that the actions

the fund is announcing today show it is listening to consultation:

'The Big Lottery Fundhas taken important steps forward over the last

few months. We've run a very successful consultation process,

involving stakeholders from all sectors across the UK. We've

listened to what people are saying. And we've made a series of

decisions and announcements in response to this.

'Most importantly, the Big Lottery Fund will be a new and different

Distributor, neither the New Opportunities Fund nor the Community

Fund. Accessibility, responsiveness and, wherever appropriate, a

cross-sectoral approach to regeneration will be at the heart of what

we do.'

The results of a phase one of public consultation are available:

Executive Summary

Full Consultation Document

Notes

* Big Lottery Fund is the joint operating name of the New

Opportunities Fund and the National Lottery Charities Board (which

made grants under the name of the Community Fund). The Big Lottery

Fund, launched on 1st June 2004, is distributing half of all National

Lottery good cause funding across the UK.

* The Big Lottery Fund is building on the experience and best

practice of the merged bodies to simplify funding in those areas

where they overlap and to ensure lottery funding provides the best

possible value for money. To date, the two merged funds' have

committed more than£5bn to initiatives with national, regional

and local partners from the public, voluntary, charity and private

sectors, with a particular focus on disadvantage.

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